8 Carpet, runner and area rug trends for 2016

2016 Carpet and Runner Trends

Carpets, area rugs and runners play a big role in our homes from style, comfort to warmth. Over time, carpets and runners (which are fashion items as well as functional), styles and colors continue to evolve.  Some trends overlap and create synergy with each other.  So, without further ado, here are the 2016 carpet and runner trends.


Update:  My 2017 Carpet, Runner and Area Rug trend article is now available.

Please note that this article may contain affiliate links.  You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

1. Runners and Area Rugs

Carpet and runner trends for 2016As hardwood continues to grow in popularity, the desire for carpet runners (for the steps) and area rugs grows and grows.  While carpet runners used to be reserved for high end homes, they have become mainstream now.  They are important for safety reasons, as well as a design statement.  They also reduce noise (including creaking on the steps). You can read more about carpet runners here: Everything you ever wanted to know about carpet runners.


The two color geometric shapes seem to be most popular for runners and area rugs (more about that in a minute), especially in gray.  These are stylish and chic and hide dirt a bit better (vs. solid or tone on tone carpets).  Check out this gray area rug on Amazon.


Don’t forget to get an area rug pad! Many don’t realize the importance of area rug pads, and they just focus on the style and color of the rug. Area rug pads serve many purposes: 1) they provide cushioning, 2) they help the area rug last longer, 3) they protect your hardwood floors from scratching (and this is especially important if you have sisal or jute or inexpensive area rugs, 4) they help the area rug stay in place. But, don’t worry, it’s not too late. You can order an area rug pad here on Amazon and have it shipped directly to you.


If you’re looking for the stair rods for runners, check out this article:  Where to buy stair rods for carpet runners.


Bonus:  Try Never Curl to prevent your area rugs from curling.

Did you ever have the corners of your area rug curl up?  It’s really annoying and create a tripping hazard.  Well now thanks to this handy invention, you can solve this issue with these rubber corners which adhere to the bottom of the rug corners and prevents them from curling.  And, they don’t scratch hardwood floors.

2. Moroccan Trellis and similar geometric shapes (sometimes called Quatrefoil)

moroccan trellis or quatrefoil carpetYou’ve probably seen the moroccan trellis (which is sometimes called quatrefoil) design by now.  If not, you may be living under a rock.  It’s everywhere – runners, area rugs, window treatments, pillows.  Now, we are finding other similar geometric designs and themes with 2 colors.  The mixing and matching seems to really work from a design perspective.  The grays sees to be the most popular color, followed by blue/navy but many will mix and colors on rugs and accent pillow.


Shaw tracery carpetShaw MarbleheadCarpet runner trends geometric

3. Gray, Gray and more Gray

Yes, gray is EVERYWHERE.  On the floors and walls and furniture.  It’s a universal and neutral color that works so well.  As dark hardwood floors grow in popularity, gray area rugs contrast well.  This cool tone is both stylish and practical (as it tends to hide dirt better as it’s a similar color).  So, grays tend to look better longer.


Grays are popular for runners, area rugs and regular wall to wall carpet.  As carpet manufactures update their color lines, they are adding more and more gray combos – light gray, dark gray and medium gray.  They are blending grays and taupes and grays with blue undertones.


Gray makes a statement.  You’ll see it everywhere you look on Pinterest and Houzz and the internet.  You’ll also find that it’s easy tocoordinate pillows with these area rugs.


4. Pet friendly and stain resistant carpeting

pet resistant carpetWe love our pet and pet ownership is on the rise.  According to the 2015-2016 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 65% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to nearly 80 million homes.  This compares to 56% of households in 1988. Pets can also do a number on our carpets, so it’s only natural that the carpet manufacturers would invent new solutions to improve carpets that hold up better to our furry friends.


Stainmaster PetProtect CarpetFirst, there was Stainmaster® PetProtect®.  This innovative carpet has the best stain protection for pets and helps reduces odor.  It also releases pet hair due to its new technology that is more anti-static making it easier to vacuum.  When you combine this with Shaw’s TripleTouch moisture barrier cushion, it helps protect your floors underneath.


Shaw Lifeguard carpetNow there’s Shaw’s Lifeguard line which has a waterproof backing so that pet stains (or other accidents) won’t leak through to your subfloor.

How waterproof is it?  Check out this video. It’s pretty incredible.


Shaw’s Lifeguard carpet with waterproof backing


In the past, when there were pet stains, carpet cleaning did very little to help with the issue and the odor.  Why?  Because of course the accident penetrated the carpet and got soaked into the carpet cushion.  So, topical carpet cleaning is close to useless.  Shaw invented a wonderful solution to this issue with their Lifeguard Carpet line.  Important: this is NOT to be confused with Home Depot’s new “knock-off” line which has a similar name but is NOT waterproof.


stainmaster petprotect carpet for cats and dogsAnd of course, this is head and shoulders above Mohawk’s Smart Strand line which is neither waterproof nor dirt resistant.  SmartStrand is not holding up to the test of time and it shows a lot of dirt and there have been many complaints around the web on this product.


Manufacturers will continue to innovate for pets.  I think they understand how our pets are part of the family and that is good news to families with furry friends.


5. Naturals – wool, sisal, jute

sisal area rug westchester 2016 trendsEco-friendly and better for indoor air quality. This seems to be more important as allergies and asthma seem to be on the rise and/or customers are becoming more attuned to the importance of indoor air quality. These fibers seem to do better with those who have allergies or asthma (as does hardwood).  They trap less dirt and they have a stylish look.


Wool, jute, sisal and blends of these are becoming super popular, especially for area rugs. The area rugs have also become much more affordable. It’s easy to find many online and/or stylish home stores such as Pottery Barn. The colors tend to be natural and minimalist. Some have no borders, others have contrasting canvas tape borders.  Jute tends to be a bit softer than sisal.


6. Cool tones – Grays, blues and muted hues

As more an more people are going for dark hardwoods and/or gray walls, cool tones are in style. Those include grays, blues and many muted hues.  If you look carefully at the carpet color and undertones, you’ll often see grays mixed in for a more neutral and muted tone.  Also, we are seeing more subtle “flecking” i.e. a mixture of colors for both a blending effect and a way to camouflage dirt.  Some of these remind me of impressionist artwork where you see the individual colors up close, but from afar, your eye mixes and blends them for a different effect.

muted tones - chace enchantmentcarpet trends for 2015 blues - westchestertextured looped carpets for 2015


7.  Soft and Luxurious

For those looking for carpet in the bedrooms, they generally go for soft to super soft (pending on the budget).  They are looking for warm and cozy on their feet, and this is especially true in the Northeast, Mid Atlantic and Mid West where the winters can get pretty cold.  Manufacturers have been innovating with carpet fibers to make them softer and bring the softness to more affordable levels.  Check out Shaw’s Caress line for a super plush and luxurious line of carpets.


8.  Minimalist designs and colors – “less is more”

This trend goes hand in hand with the Naturals trend. Wool, sisal and jute contain natural fibers and natural colors. They tend to be more in the beiges and are a bit understated. Many of these carpets leverage the texture of the weaves, rather than colors. They are often bound with canvas tapes for a bit of flair, but generally a neutral tone.


Conclusion Carpet and Runner Trends 2016:

So there you have it – my 8 top trends for 2016 Carpeting and Runners.  It is fun to watch the trends evolve and in fact co-evolve with hardwood.  And, in case you missed it, here is my 2016 hardwood flooring trend article.


2016 Carpet and Runner Trends2Other useful articles related to 2016 Carpet Trends:



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2016 Carpet and Runner Trends | 8 Trends to follow